Westervelt Co-hosts Gopher Tortise Course


On June 17th – June 19th, Westervelt partnered with the Longleaf Alliance, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Gopher Tortoise Council to offer a short course entitled Longleaf Academy 301: Restoration and Management of Gopher Tortoises and their Habitat. The event took place in Lucedale, Mississippi and included a tour of Westervelts, gopher tortoise bank, Chickasawhay Conservation Bank. 35 registrants attended the event.

an image of a large group of people in a classroom facing the front of the class looking at a presentation on a large projector screen

Topics covered during the three day event included:

  • Physical features of tortoise
  • Life history and population dynamics
  • Habitat requirements and management
  • Habitat conservation plans, in-lieu fees, and conservation banks
  • Current status in listed and non-listed range
  • Cogongrass and fire ants
  • Restoring fire to tortoise habitat
  • Impacts to tortoises including timber harvest
  • State and federal regulation
  • Financing conservation for tortoises
  • Conservation easements